Wednesday, March 4, 2020


No I'm not so far gone as to be patting myself on the back and referring to my recent distribution of maps both electronic and hard copy version to the TAG Chair (Tiffany) and members. I have been publicly assured by Tiffany at last week's TAG meeting that the electronic copies will be sent on to both Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOE/MECP). Further praise is required for Sarah (sp?) Goldrup and Lisa Schaefer. Both employees of Woolwich Township they converted my initial hard copies of both text and maps into excellent electronic versions for TAG distribution. That said, then after sending on my hard copy stuff to Lisa and Sara (sp?), I improved particularly on the Conestoga Rovers map of the east side ground surface contour lines. This I did by both handwriting the typed contour lines larger without covering up the originals as well as further clarifying the source of the bottom half of the ground surface contour lines on my large 2 1/2' x 3' map. That is why I handed out the hard copy package to TAG members Thursday despite Sara (sp?) and Lisa's excellent electronic versions delivered to TAG members well prior to the public meeting.

No the stroke of genius in the title refers to Uniroyal Chemical's initial actions in 1983 in regards to the construction of the Stroh Drain, Ditch and Berm (SDDB) followed by the likely construction of the Interceptor Trench across the north-east to south-west part of their property. My best guesstimate for the construction of the Interceptor Trench (if indeed that is what it is versus say a Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB)) would be between 1991 and 1993 well after the construction of the SDDB.

Multiple unfolding problems were "resolved" by these relatively inexpensive projects. The chemical stinkhole and swamp on both the Stroh and Uniroyal properties could be drained into the Canagagigue Creek. It could be done so while bypassing direct discharges from the Uniroyal property that could not be kept hidden from the MOE or the public. Afterall while the regular flow of overflowing liquid wastes into and from the east side pits had fully stopped by 1970, the soils were saturated in the east side low lying areas of both the Stroh and Uniroyal properties. The SDDB would take both surface water as well as contaminated groundwater southwards into the Canagagigue Creek.

Secondly the bonded Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins/furans and DDT with the soils on the lowest lying areas of the Stroh property would be constantly exposed to erosion from heavy rains and regular flooding of the creek . The Berm part of the SDDB physically slowed and blocked the force of the flooding creek from sweeping across this floodplain area and scouring and carrying these contaminants downstream.

Thirdly if indeed the Interceptor Trench was designed to stop the flow of grossly contaminated groundwater westwards from the overflowing pits directly into the creek then by connecting it to the galvanized pipe discharging groundwater into the top (north) end of the SDDB a successful and hidden from the public bypass was achieved.

Fourthly and less successful may have been the attempt to avoid ever having to excavate and remove the two "Consolidation Pits" on the east side namely RPE-4 and RPE-5. If groundwater sampling on the north-east side of the creek showed little contamination (courtesy of the likely Interceptor Trench) then the rationale for very expensive full and final remediation of those two pits could be weakened. Alas it was not to be so as public scrutiny of the MOE made that impossible.

No comments:

Post a Comment